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Stress can come in more than one way. But co-captain BreeAnna Gibson proved there’s only one way to handle it with success by rising to the occasion.
On Saturday, Gibson not only braved the equivalent of a stress fracture on her foot, but bore the stress of the possible upset over the Yale track and field team.
Gibson had decided to compete despite a bone bruise in her left foot-caused by a metal plate in the foot hitting the bone-that had her on crutches and unsure of whether she would compete as late as Thursday night.
“This meet for me was not about distances, but rather about doing what was necessary to win,” Gibson said. “Every single point was a difference maker and we knew that from the beginning.”
And after scoring an amazing 12 points last week in the Brown Invitational, Gibson began Saturday with a heavily wrapped up foot and finished the day against Yale with 13. With Harvard just edging Yale 82-80, every one of those points counted.
“We were aware of the score around the end of the meet and the team came over to the discus to tell me what was going on and how important the points in each of the last four events were,” Gibson said. “This just gave me more resolve that this was a time where I had to step up and perform.”
In both the discus and the shot put, Gibson took home first place points, beating the field despite her injury.
The discus came at the most crucial moment down the stretch in the meet for the Crimson, and if she had placed third, the three point swing would have won the meet for Yale.
“At the discus we were up five points, but we were not expected to win the four by four so that would even the score,” Gibson said. “Also I was the only one in contention to score with the two Yale discus throwers so I felt like I needed a win so that I would outscore them 5-4 and give us a chance to win the meet.”
Her winning throw in the shot put was 13.34 meters, about three quarters of a meter away from her personal best, but good enough to get what mattered most on Saturday for Gibson.
“I took limited throws in each of my events and only did what was necessary to place where we needed me to,” Gibson said. “The team was doing so well, with amazing performances all around, that I was incredibly motivated to do well.”
In the hammer throw, Gibson’s day was completed by a distant second place finish to senior Johanna Doyle—who has been dominant all year in the event.
Gibson’s superb triple lead the Crimson field team to a dominant day, scoring 39 of Harvard’s total 82 points. The victory over Yale was Harvard’s first of the season.
—GABRIEL M. VELEZ
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